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While homeowners are required by their mortgage lender to carry homeowners insurance, there is no similar requirement for renters. In many cases, renters may have little awareness of the need for renters insurance and may not be inclined to explore the topic. They may be unsure about renters insurance costs or they may find the process of obtaining a policy confusing or intimidating.
Fortunately, renters insurance doesn’t have to be complicated to obtain or expensive to maintain. Renters insurance is widely available and remarkably affordable. What’s more, it can provide protection for both renters and property owners, ensuring that renters enjoy more peace of mind and security, not only while they’re at home but even when they’re traveling.
In this guide, we’ll provide a comprehensive overview of the process for choosing the right insurance provider, policy provisions, and level of coverage. In addition, we’ll answer the questions you, your tenants, and your owner clients may be asking about renters insurance.
Now, more than ever, it is vital that your tenants have the protection that renters insurance can provide. From liability protection for the actions of pets to relocation coverage in the event of a fire or natural disaster, renters insurance cost is a smart part of an overall personal financial plan.
How can RentSpree help with renters insurance?
You know that RentSpree offers an array of tools designed to help you streamline every aspect of the rental process, allowing landlords, property managers, and rental agents to rent with confidence. RentSpree works with individual landlords, teams, corporate clients, and real estate associations to offer solution-oriented services designed to keep rental properties filled with well-qualified, reliable renters.
The RentSpree difference
One of the reasons tenants fail to carry adequate insurance coverage is due to their confusion about the process of finding and obtaining a renters insurance policy. With RentSpree you can offer your renters answers to their questions about renters insurance and a streamlined process to obtain the coverage they need. In addition, you can take advantage of our services designed to keep you more informed about the status of your renters’ policies.
RentSpree + Sure for renters insurance
Through our partnership with Sure, renters are able to take advantage of insurance on demand, including an instant quote and simple one-stop coverage purchasing and management. Here’s how RentSpree + Sure can help you and the tenants you serve:
- Through RentSpree, rental agents and landlords can reach out to renters and notify them of their renters insurance coverage requirements.
- Tenants can then find out the renters insurance cost and obtain immediate coverage through the Sure platform and its partnership with RentSpree.
- Landlords and rental agents can conveniently track the individual tenant’s renters insurance coverage through the RentSpree dashboard.
Who benefits from comprehensive renters insurance coverage?
Proper insurance coverage has a number of benefits for everyone involved in the rental transaction, including:
- Tenants, who can enjoy additional peace of mind and protection when they and their belongings are properly insured.
- Property owners, whose liability for relocation expenses in the event of property damage caused by a natural disaster may be offset by the renters insurance policy.
- Rental agents and property managers, who can provide better advice, service, and protection to their tenants and property owners by facilitating renters insurance coverage.
What is renters insurance?
Most people think of renters insurance as a tool to protect the personal belongings of the tenant, while homeowners insurance protects the structure itself on behalf of the property owner. However, renters insurance has many additional benefits that may not be widely recognized.
By sharing information with your tenants, you can help them better understand and utilize their renters insurance coverage. Renters insurance can provide help for the following scenarios:
In the event of a fire or natural disaster, renters insurance can provide help with relocation, including the cost of temporary housing like a hotel room and the cost of moving to a new rental property.
If a guest is visiting your tenant and is accidentally injured, renters insurance can help defray the cost of medical services up to the policy’s limit.
In the event that someone is injured on the property itself or that the tenant damages the property of others, renters insurance may provide liability coverage in the event of a lawsuit or claim.
Some policies provide coverage in the event that the tenant’s pet bites someone either on the property or away from it. Individual policies vary in this regard.
Protection for rented or borrowed property
Renters insurance can provide protection for property that is in the tenant’s possession, even if the tenant does not own it.
Should the tenant experience a loss while traveling or away from the property, renters insurance can provide replacement coverage.
How much does renters insurance cost?
One of the best things about renters insurance is its cost. Minimum coverage policies from some carriers may go for as little as $10 for coverage of possessions up to $2,500. That may sound like a great price, but it is important to think through the coverage needed to actually replace the belongings in the home. This handy checklist may be helpful for tenants determining how much coverage they need.
Imagine how much it would take to fully replace everything currently in the home. Tenants should estimate the replacement costs of the following items:
- Large furniture items like sofas, beds, mattresses, and chairs
- Smaller furniture items like tables, nightstands, and side chairs
- Electronics like televisions, stereo speakers, and computers
- Decorative items like rugs, curtains, lamps, books, tchotchkes
- Artwork and custom framing costs
- Kitchen items like small appliances, pots and pans, dishes, and glassware
- Children’s items like toys and children’s furniture
- Clothing for all family members
- Jewelry, makeup, and toiletries for all family members
7 Tips for finding the right renters insurance coverage
Finding the right renters insurance policy and choosing the right coverage requires an analysis of carriers, coverage, and the protection sought by tenants. Consider all of the following:
1. Choose the Best Renters Insurance Carrier
Determining which coverage is best for an individual household depends on a variety of factors. While your tenant may be more focused on cost, in reality choosing the right carrier is about so much more. Here are a few things to consider:
- How reliable is the carrier and how easy or difficult do they make it to submit a claim?
- How much coverage does the carrier offer and what limitations do they put on items like jewelry replacement or pet coverage?
- How easy or difficult is it to change your coverage or to manage the policy?
- Does the carrier offer online or app-based tools to help you keep track of the policy and any pending claims?
- Is the tenant eligible for any discounts including those provided by universities, employers, professional organizations, or for military service?
2. Choose the Best Rental Property Insurance Carrier
Rental property insurance, also referred to as landlord insurance, is designed to help protect rental property owners from some of the risks specifically associated with the ownership of non-owner-occupied properties. These include damages and liabilities, as well as loss of income associated with market shifts or needed repairs and improvements.
3. Find Out About the Benefits of Pet Insurance
There is some overlap between the coverage associated with renters insurance and that offered by pet insurance carriers. It is important for tenants to understand the similarities and differences between the two policy types and determine whether pet insurance is right for them. By better understanding pet insurance policies, you can provide additional information as needed both to your property owner clients and to your tenants.
4. Help Renters Find Out How Much Their Stuff Is Worth
One of the most important factors in choosing a renters insurance policy and estimating the renters insurance cost is determining the replacement cost of the tenants’ belongings. In practical terms, although the items in a home may not be brand new, their replacement cost must be determined when figuring out how much coverage to choose.
One of the most difficult aspects of estimating coverage comes from those forgotten or inherited items that tenants fail to recognize as valuable. Though many of their items may have been gifts from family members or may not currently be in regular use, they still have value and it still costs something to replace them. Helping renters compile and maintain an accurate inventory of the items in their home can go a long way toward helping them obtain sufficient coverage.
5. Understand Renters Insurance and Roommates
For tenants who share their living space and expenses with roommates, it is important to understand the problems and limitations incurred when sharing renters insurance as well. These can include squabbles over which items are covered and disagreements arising if one of the roommates moves out while the other remains in place.
For this reason, most carriers recommend separate renters insurance policies for each tenant. This helps to ensure that each roommate has sufficient coverage and serves to promote policy continuity.
6. Learn About Renters Insurance in California vs. Other States
Just as laws governing rental property ownership and responsibility vary from state to state, so too does renters insurance coverage. It is important to understand your state’s policies regarding landlord liability and required insurance coverage as well as the tenants’ responsibilities in these regards.
7. Understand Renters Insurance vs. Landlord Insurance
Renters insurance is designed to protect tenants and their belongings and to shield them from liability both on and off the premises. By contrast, landlord insurance is designed to protect the property owner and to protect their financial interest in the property in the event of damage or disaster. Understanding the differences between these policies and the coverage needed on each side is important in ensuring that both parties are properly protected.
Is renters insurance cost really worth it?
Frequently, renters think of renters insurance as a nice-to-have, optional coverage. However, its exceptional affordability makes it a vital component of good financial planning for tenants. From a property owner’s perspective, renters insurance provides a meaningful buffer to offset the potential costs associated with damage and liability due to tenant carelessness or inappropriate use of the property.
One of the reasons that renters often fail to obtain renters insurance is because they are convinced that it will be an expensive and time-consuming process. Because there is far less information available about renters insurance than, say, homeowners insurance or auto insurance, it can be difficult for renters to research appropriate coverage. By streamlining the process and making information readily available, property managers and rental agents play a vital role in ensuring that both tenants and owner clients are properly protected.
Through its partnership with Sure, RentSpree offers a fast and effective process that landlords and property managers can implement to ensure on-demand quotes and easy sign-up for renters insurance policies. In addition, rental agents can continue to easily check the ongoing status of policies right from the RentSpree dashboard.